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Life at Boomer Lake with Deb, Saturday March 31, 2012

Updated on November 22, 2012
Northern Shoveler
Northern Shoveler | Source

This has been an interesting week with temperatures in the 80’s. Flowers are growing profusely, nesting season is well underway, and eggs have been lain. I even have a bead on a few nests! The Northern Shoveler made an appearance on Monday, which was the only day that I saw them here, a group of six.

The roses are blooming and wildflowers are proliferating. Since I am not a flower expert, the only one that I recognized is the violet and the daisies. The House Sparrows are being crowded out by the Purple Martins and the Chimney Swifts in the martin houses that were put up by the City of Stillwater for the season. They are still here nesting, but it has been hard for them getting to the nest.

Chimney Swift
Chimney Swift | Source

There are at least two European Starling nests off the park property inside trees that I’ve discovered. The females have been peering out of the holes periodically. Five Double-Crested Cormorants have been on the lake all week. One in particular has been perching on limbs and basking in the sun. I got a few good pictures of this male wing-drying, which was fairly lucky. They seem to be more skittish here than they used to be in Maine about being watched and photographed too closely. Wednesday was extremely windy, very few birds were out on the water other than the usual denizens, the geese, Mallards, and coots. Many of the smaller birds stayed sheltered wherever they call home. Thursday, I located one Killdeer nest that had four eggs. Mom hasn’t been spending a lot of time on the nest, so there is a good possibility that there will be the first clutch of chicks soon. There is an American Coot nest on the large dead tree cluster in the lake near the Veteran’s Memorial and flagpoles. I also encountered approximately forty Cedar Waxwings at the top of the lake by the recycling center. They stayed for about 20 minutes, just long enough for a quick photo shoot. Between 8:15 and 11 a.m. the fog rolled in and the sun was covered by a thick cloud cover, nearly obliterating it completely. There was a pair of Black-Headed, Franklin’s or Laughing Gulls halfway between Lakeview Rd. and Veteran’s Memorial. They were so far out, I was unable to determine what kind they were. I saw the nest of a pair of Mallards where they were sitting, but was unable to determine if there are any eggs in it.

Killdeer eggs
Killdeer eggs | Source

Friday, I saw several different kinds of butterflies, and a Pileated Woodpecker flew into the woods across from the book bindery. I couldn’t miss that unmistakable head. For those of you that have never seen one, it is the bird that the classic cartoon “Woody the Woodpecker" was modeled after. They are very loud, but sound nothing like Woody. For those of you that have never seen one, they are easily as big as a crow(16-20 inches tall) with a bright red crest that extends from the forehead to the nape of the neck, a solid black back, and a white line that runs from the base of the bill, crossing the face to the back of the neck, and runs along the side of the neck. The female has a black mustache and the male has a red one. This morning, I was out very early, even before the sunlight was across the water. The Great Tailed Grackles were out looking for sustenance and I even went back to the top of the lake to see if I was fortunate to see the pileated again, but no such luck. Well, sometimes you win a few, sometimes not. There is certainly plenty of time to catch that gorgeous bird at the right time. In the meantime, I hope that you're having luck finding all your winged treasures, and happy birding to you.

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing | Source
European Starling peeking out of tree where nest is located
European Starling peeking out of tree where nest is located | Source


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    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sonali, nothing is ever perfect for all apps. We can always hope to get as close as we can to all-purpose status.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Why is it only in the free software world that peploe are so damn obsessed with what graphical toolkit an application is using? Well I can only speak for myself, but I like the vast majority of my apps to be qt/kde based because they are nicer to use than anything based on GTK. The file selector is not crap, I can open files over the network, the look integrates, it might use common components, etc.On Windows I don't care so much, because all applications integrate equally poorly. Every app uses their own libraries anyway, so there really isn't a clear set of advantages to having one over the other.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Rhonda. The shovelers are neat ducks. They sounds like little vacuums when they are dredging up food.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image

      Rhonda Humphreys 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      I love the picture of the waxwing and of course of the starling.I have never seen a shovelier before. What a beautiful bird.

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, precy anza. Some of those birds can be pretty amusing. I have had several funny shots. I swear that some of them like to pose for me.

    • precy anza profile image

      precy anza 

      6 years ago from USA

      That Starling peeking is just so cute! It's probably thinking what you are up to, lol. Now the cuteness is all over Hubpages for everyone to see ^-^'

    • aviannovice profile imageAUTHOR

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I lucked into the appearance of the waxwings. It's just one of those things where I was in the right place at the right time. They appeared to be posting for me, and they left as quickly as they had come. Funny how these things go, eh?

    • gamby79 profile image


      6 years ago

      I love the pic of the Cedar Waxwing! Thank you for sharing! I am learning so much about birds from you! Always look forward to your stories and looking at your photos!


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